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Piolet d’Or Nomination for the Shark’s Fin Team

Posted on: March 23rd, 2012 by Pete Takeda

This week, AAC members Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk attend the The Piolet d’Or for their ascent of the Shark’s Fin on Meru Central. This annual mountaineering award presented by the magazine Montagnes and The Groupe de Haute Montagne since 1991. The purpose of the Piolets d’Or awards is, “to raise awareness about the year’s greatest ascents across the world.” It’s the closest thing to an Academy Award in the climbing world, intended to, “celebrate the taste for adventure, the bravery and sense of exploration that lie behind the art of climbing in the world’s great mountain ranges.”

The award committee cites: “Attempted by many expeditions since 1986, this incredible route on the east pillar of Meru Central—the Shark’s Fin—was climbed in its entirety for the first time by Americans Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk. This particularly aesthetic route has all the difficulties of modern alpinism; rocky terrain involving difficult free climbing and committing aid climbing, and delicate mixed terrain in the upper section.” 

We caught up with the ever busy Renan Ozturk who, at this very moment is probably editing his upcoming film on Meru.

Pete Takeda: Was the nomination a surprise?

Renan Ozturk: Yes, honestly I don’t even know to much about the Piolet d’Or in general so it was great to get to learn about the tradition of it and have our effort recognized internationally.  

Pete Takeda: What was your first reaction when you heard the news?

Renan Ozturk: I was like, huh, that’s cool…then went back to editing the film.

Pete Takeda: Are you excited to go?

Renan Ozturk: Yes, besides being in Chamonix and the inherent inspiration of the spiky summits, it will be an honor to hang out with all the climbers who are taking part who I’ve looked up over the years.

Pete Takeda: What was the reaction from Conrad?

Renan Ozturk: He was really humble about it. He said something to the effect that we had already had our resolution on the mountain and that award was not of big consequence to him. On the flip side I can tell it would be nice icing on the cake and recognition for him, since the climb seemed to represent the coming together of his unique skill set from big-wall trickery to delicate alpine ice that few climbers have.

Pete Takeda: What if you guys win?

Renan Ozturk: I’d be stoked for Conrad and think it would be a good tribute to all the folks who have suffered, been inspired and put in effort to climb that beautiful line.

We’ll have a follow up report on the results. Keep your fingers crossed for the boys…either set, really, since Past AAC Presidents Mark Richey and Steve Swenson, as well as Freddie Wilkinson were also nominated

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